Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Black History Month!

The Dream Keeper
by Langston Hughes

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

When I started my writing group for teens, we named ourselves Dream Keepers after the above poem by Langston Hughes, a writer from the Harlem Renaissance.

When Hughes was in grammar school, he was designated class poet. Hughes said he was chosen because of the stereotype that African Americans have rhythm.

In Hughes’s long writing career, he wrote poems but he also wrote plays, novels, short stories, columns, and even children’s books. Hughes inspires me. He didn’t let the stereotypical ideas of others limit his creativity. In his writing and his work, Hughes dreamed wildly. But Hughes did more than dream—he wrote. 

To celebrate black history month, take a trip to your local library or independent bookstore and read a book by Langston Hughes. Then take one of your own "heart melodies" and write about it.

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